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Mind health

Defence and Capacity

A friend sent me a recent article by Sir Anthony Hopkins. Its essence was that we deserve the best and so when people treat us badly we should move away from them, have only those who cherish us in our life.

Many thousands of people thanked him for the article. It was a beautiful piece of writing.

And what more powerfully healthy message can there be than that we all deserve kindness, compassion, love, cherishing?

Let’s not ever forget that message. It is vital.

But it is missing a crucial element…

A…

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“This time, it’s personal”



It was the tag line from Jaws, The Revenge, famously one of the worst films ever made.

The shark is back and follows the Brody family from Amity Island to the Bahamas, strategically targeting them to extract its revenge.

The images and score of the original Jaws still haunt many of us every time we step into the ocean, such was the power of that film.

But Jaws 4… not so much…

The idea that a shark can be motivated not by hunger or survival but by revenge just didn’t hold water. It was ‘personal’ for…

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What does it mean to be well?

‘Make the suffering stop. It is overwhelming. Take away the anguish. Make me feel better. I’ve tried everything. This is my last hope.’

Maybe we all know that desperation. It might not be suffering in relation to health. It might be about our partner or money or family or career or colleagues or house. 

But the plea is the same ‘make the suffering stop’. And we try everything to get rid of it. All the time trying to get rid of the sensation of dis-ease, discomfort, insecurity, desperation through …

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What do you believe?

"Beyond our own galaxy lies a vast expanse of galaxies. The deeper we see into space, the more galaxies we discover. There are billions of galaxies, the most distant of which are so far away that the light arriving from them on Earth today set out from the galaxies billions of years ago. So we see them not as they are today, but as they looked long before there was any life on Earth.” www.nasa.gov

Are we experiments in a cosmic Truman Show? A version of the matrix? A creation by an omnipotent God…

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What do we want?

I read an article yesterday about ‘Wantologists’ in America who help people identify exactly what it is they want in their life (link below for anyone wanting to read it). Wantology originated as a process to help businesses make purchasing decisions and is now offered by consultants for individuals.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/opinion/sunday/the-outsourced-life.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

It is easy to scoff at the idea of course and at the ways we are increasingly relying on buying in help fr…

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Stillness or change?

I was teaching yoga to a group of beginners in Amsterdam and about four weeks into the course I introduced a 10 minute meditation session. For all of them, it was the first time they had ever done any meditation. At the end of the lesson we discussed what it had been like. A couple of people said that is was the first time they could remember not having constant mental chatter going on in their minds. This silence only lasted a minute or so of the ten minute session but it was a revelation that …

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Teaching children who is in charge

When I was at the school the other day, a little boy was crying outside his classroom. His teacher was with him but the boy could not talk he was so distraught. The teacher hugged him tightly, then looked him right in the eyes and said very firmly,

‘Who is in charge of your mind?’

The boy was startled out of his sobs. He didn’t know what to say at first. And then cautiously said,

‘I am?’

She nodded. ‘Yes you are.’

Her question had taken him away from what ever had upset him and brought him right into…

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Why didn’t Luke say hello?

One day when I picked up my then four year old daughter from school, she shouted ‘There’s Luke!’ and ran off in his direction. He was a slightly older boy who used to be in her pre-school class and who had recently gone up to the next year. He was talking to some friends, she tapped him on the back beaming. He carried on talking. She kept tapping, saying ‘Luke’. He turned around. She smiled and said ‘hello!’, he shrugged and turned back to his friend. I wondered how she would handle this, expect…

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The ultimate freedom - cut loose from the ‘Self’

There is an old Japanese story about a tea ceremony master who unintentionally insulted a samurai swordsman and was immediately challenged to a duel the next day. The tea master was terrified. ‘I am going to die’ he thought. His wife persuaded him to find someone who could help. He sought the help of an expert swordsman to teach him. All through the night the expert tried to instruct his pupil in the art of swordsmanship but the tea master couldn’t get any of the motions right. As dawn was break…

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